IN THE INTERNATIONAL DHS FAMILY Family News
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Final Vows and Silver Jubilee
On 7th May 2022, the Daughters of the Holy Spirit of the Vice-Province of Nigeria celebrated the final vows of Sisters: Mercy Aghahowa and Rita Oye and the silver jubilee of religious profession of Sisters: Cyrina Chikwe and Marykate Anni.
During the vigil prayer, each one gave a testimony of an experience lived either in community, in mission, or in her relationship with God during these years of sharing life and mission in the Congregation by presenting a symbol that represents their experiences: Sr Mercy, "kolanuts" a cultural symbol signifying love, peace and unity; Sr Rita, "a stool", a symbol of welcome and a sense of belongin; Sr Cyrina, the image of a "dry tree" watered by God to be resurrected, a symbol of total dependence on God; Sr MaryKate, "bouquet of sunflowers", a symbol of life and availability for service.
On 7th May, the Eucharist was celebrated at St Peter's Parish, Ota, Ogun State, by Bishop Peter Odetoyinbo, of Abeokuta Diocese, assisted by a large number of priests and present also were religious men and women, associates of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, families of the sisters, parishioners, friends and well-wishers.
In his homily, Bishop Peter Odetoyinbo expressed his gratitude to God for all the blessings manifested in today's engagements. He thanked the congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, Sister Anthonia Ayeni, Vice Provincial and all the sisters for their services, noting that this was the very first time such a celebration of the congregation was held in this diocese. He introduced his homily with the words of Psalm 84:11 "Yes, one day in your courts is worth more than a thousand elsewhere". He reminded all the people of God that everyone has a vocation, a call to which they must remain faithful to the end, whether in the priesthood, religious life or married life. Fidelity to one's vocation "in the courts of the Lord" is what brings true joy. He stressed that the Church, from the beginning, has encouraged young people to embrace with faith this very special consecration to witness to Christ in his work of charity. The bishop encouraged the sisters who are going to make a definitive commitment through the Evangilical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, to consider themselves as persons especially attached to the Holy Spirit; to the sisters who are celebrating their silver jubilee, he reminded them that they must be a true witness to God's service for the Church, while remaining faithful Daughters of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, he placed the four sisters and everyone under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother who intercedes for all vocations, especially in difficult times.
The celebration was followed by entertainment in a joyful atmosphere with shows, songs and various forms of dance. The joy of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit was very great as well as that of the families who considered their daughter's commitment as a blessing.
By Patience Effiong DHS. Published on 11 May 2022.